People are highly influenced by advertising, because it is a powerful mechanism of control. Although, they have their own thoughts and judgments, it is very easy to be affected by the amount of publicity that is around us. As Jamie Bartlett said on the article that he wrote on “The Telegraph” about those activists who make artworks as a critique, “A study in 2005 found that the average Londoner sees 3,500 marketing messages each day, on billboards, on television, the underground, everywhere” (Bartlett, 2015). Those activists think that the majority of the current advertising is fake, hypocritical and gives a wrong image of reality; therefore, they create some posters that call into question the advertising campaigns of some well-known brands, and this movement is called “Brandalism”. This post is going to be based in three articles, one is written by Bartlett on “The Telegraph”, the second one is on “Independet” and its author is Griffin, and the last one is by Oreskes and it is written in a webpage called “Harvard Business Review”
In today’s post it will be explained the functioning of Brandalism groups. Two French friends began the movement to criticise the unreality on advertising. They have done more than 360 actions all over the world and Vyv, which is an unreal name because of the fear to be sued, is a member of the group, who said to Bartlett, the author of one of the articles in which is based this post, that taking part on that movement changed his life. He explained how the process of their actions is: Vyv says that there are many artists who collaborate with them, and it is surprising because they are not usually involved on that kind of revolutionary actions. The first step is the creation of the design of the posters, then they have to buy the materials and tools that are used on the process of pasting the posters; the next step consists on making fake uniforms of the company which legally paste posters; and finally, they have to print them. The last step is already known by everyone, they put the posters in pairs and in a calm behaviour, all around the city. Therefore, Brandalism members, have to make their posters attractive, in order to be seen by the largest public. They want the population to think and wonder how big is the alienation of publicity in our daily life.
Climate change gives cause for the creation of Brandalism, an article of Oreskes said that the coalition of entities would be a solution. That is because companies have valuable skills, resources, motivation, and they are dynamic in order to progress on a global scale. It is necessary this motivation for reaching that goal and maybe the actions of Brandalism make an early warming and teach companies how to be better.
The original idea of Brandalism consists on criticise those actions that develop global warming, but it is not the only aim. They fight against consumerism and unreality on publicity. Bartlett said about Brandalism, in order to support this statement: “They believe ads shape what we think it means to be beautiful, to be happy, to be successful, and all of it requires us buying products. That makes ads the underlying engine for endless consumerism, which, in turn, fuels neverending economic growth” (Bartlett, 2015). Vyv, the member of this group who is beeing interviewed by Bartlett, says that they do not like the presence of advertising in public places, streets or buses, but if we think about it, they do the same with their posters. Even though, Vyv desagree, “But at least art invites some interaction. Adverts just take. And it’s a protest: the visual realm belongs to everyone, so no one should be able to buy it off in this way.” (Vyv, 2015). Moreover, as Griffin said in other article used as a reference on this post, activists usually avoid mass gathering and very drastical things, they want their actions to be subtle and discreet.
The author, after listening to Vyv and knowing a certain amount of information about Brandalism, comes across with one question: Is Brandalism going to change anything? Vyv told him that he thinks the global warming issue is lossing importance on the ongoing case and it is very difficult to change the mind of the society, but if more people support them and add to the movement, the impact will be harder. It is true that with this movement, people can see how vulnerable is to publicity. From one hand, there would be people who would not like any kind of advertising, the real one or the critique one; and on the other hand, there would be people who, in a conscious or unconscious way, would be affected by publicity; and Brandalism wants to make a great impact on these two kind of people.
To conclude, as it is said throughout the post, this movement is a beneficial action for the society and I would like those actions to be repeated in all countries and see the results, as it is true that Brandalism make an enormous impact on the reputation of a brand. There is a strong debate about voluntary measures, as the article of Orenkes said, but we cannot deny that people have to begin taking part on those social problems, because they affect our existence and quality of life.
I would like to end this post with a suitable quote by Vyv from the article of Bartlett:
“Once you start seeing ads are just bits of paper you can take out of the cabin, they lose their power over you” (Vyv, 2015)
Bartlett, J. (2015, December 21). The climate activists who secretly replace adverts with artwork . Retrieved Febuary 2, 2016 from The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/paris-climate-change-conference/12063081/The-climate-activists-who-secretly-replace-adverts-with-artwork.html
Griffin, A. (2015, November 30). ‘Brandalism’ activists post satirical adverts around Paris in protest of climate change advertising. Retrieved Febuary 2, 2016 from Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/cop21-brandalism-paris-climate-change-talks-protests-a6754896.html
Oreskes, N. (2015, December 4). Corporations Will Never Solve Climate Change. Retrieved Febuary 2, 2016 from Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2015/12/corporations-will-never-solve-climate-change